He may look like he can’t “jump over a small-town phone book,” as a Fox Sports 1 commentator put it, but he sure can shoot under pressure.
Sophomore forward Tyson Degenhart sunk a 3-pointer with 1 second left to force overtime, but the Boise State men’s basketball team lost by an 81 :79 loss to New Mexico Mexico. However, what happened on the pitch was overshadowed by a half-time incident.
During his post-game radio interview with KBOI 670 AM, Rice was upset about a halftime altercation involving the New Mexico baseball team.
“There were a lot of different things that were unusual tonight, including some halftime stuff with their baseball team towards our locker room that I was really unhappy with,” Rice said. “I’ve been training for 35 years and I’ve never had to deal with anything like this. The league has to adapt to that.
“I found it really unprofessional of them, and their administration said so, but you don’t want (sorry), you want better game management. That was awful.”
According to a postgame video released by Bronco Nation News, Rice said the New Mexico baseball team lined the hallway to the Broncos locker room and nearly started a brawl.
“It could have been a riot up here at halftime,” Rice told Bronco Nation News. “We had to walk through the baseball team, and they were in our face. I had to get our team through as quickly as possible.”
This isn’t the first time things have heated up between the Broncos and Lobos in The Pit.
In 2018, the Lobos missed a potential crucial shot in the final seconds. The benches were then cleared after New Mexico’s Joe Furstinger came in late and attempted to foul Boise State’s Marcus Dickinson, knocking him down with a high punch after Dickinson knocked down the rebound. Sophomore Justinian Jessup of Boise State then pushed Furstinger away from Dickinson as members of both teams charged into the melee.
In the same game, Leon Rice was spat on by a fan as he was walking back into the dressing room.
Then, in 2019, RJ Williams was ejected after receiving two technical problems during a verbal exchange with the Lobos’ Carlton Bragg.
Friday’s loss knocks the Broncos (15-5, 5-2 MW) off first place in the Mountain West standings and into a three-way tie for second place with New Mexico (18-2, 5-2) and Nevada (15-) 5, 5-2).
“I’m super proud of our boys,” Boise State coach Leon Rice told KBOI 670 AM. “We would have happily snuck out of here with it, but credit has to be given to New Mexico. These guys were shot makers and we knew it. These guards hit hard shot after hard shot after hard shot.”
New Mexico’s Morris Udeze made the game the winner with a layup with 2 seconds left in OT. The Broncos got a look at the potentially game-changing 3-pointer, but Marcus Shaver Jr.’s shot was wide.
Degenhart finished the game with a leading and career-best 28 points while Max Rice added 17 points and Shaver had 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Jamal Mashburn Jr. paced the Lobos with 25 points and seven rebounds.
The Broncos return home for a couple of Mountain West games, starting with Fresno State. Tipoff is Tuesday at 7pm at the ExtraMile Arena and the game will be televised on Fox Sports 1 or heard on the radio on KBOI 670 AM.
NEW MEXICO 81, BOISE ST. 79
Degenhart 12-20 1-2 28, N. Smith 4-9 0-1 8, Agbo 2-10 1-1 5, M. Rice 7-15 2-2 17, Shaver 5-13 0-0 10, Young 2-4 0-0 5, Sylla 1-2 2-2 4, Whiting 1-3 0-0 2, Milner 0-0 0-0 0. Overall 34-76 6-8 79.
Allick 3-4 2-2 8, Udeze 7-17 1-5 15, House 7-15 1-2 16, Johnson 1-1 0-0 2, Mashburn 9-21 3-3 25, Dent 4-5 1 -1 10, Jenkins 2-7 1-1 5, Forsling 0-0 0-0 0, Seck 0-0 0-0 0. Overall 33-70 9-14 81.
Halftime – Boise St. 37-31. 3-Point Goals – Boise St. 5-24 (Degenhart 3-5, Young 1-2, M.Rice 1-6, Whiting 0-1, Agbo 0-3, N.Smith 0-3, Shaver 0- 4), New Mexico 6-13 (Mashburn 4-7, Dent 1-1, House 1-4, Jenkins 0-1). Rebounds – 43 Boise St. (N.Smith 13), New Mexico 37 (Allick 18). Assists – 11 Boise St. (shaver 4), 13 New Mexico (house 4). Total fouls – 18 Boise St., New Mexico 12th A – 14,566 (15,411).